Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mac daddy

I decided that it was high time Andy demonstrate his culinary skills this summer, so he was the head chef as I played sous chef tonight. We made his dad's mac 'n' cheese using rotini and cheddar, as well as panko mixed with Italian seasoning for the breadcrumb topping. I got to do all the grating and breadcrumb/seasoning mixing and chopping of vegetables for our garlic/spinach/mushroom side dish, while Andy actually tended the cheese sauce and sauteed the vegetables. Cremini mushrooms are fantastic, by the way; I got some on sale at Trader Joe's, so they were no more expensive than white mushrooms for twice the goodness.

Anyway, the macaroni and cheese. This is probably one of the best recipes I've made (sorry, we've made) for the stuff. There's no flour in the roux, only cornstarch, which I like, and the cayenne powder on top gave it a nice warmth. I can see making a few modifications (orange cheddar for color, less milk and cornstarch for the same amount of cheese, a thicker crust [although the crustiness was left to our discretion, so I have no-one to blame but ourselves], some chopped tomatoes in there), but it was creamy and absolutely delicious. To follow such a high-fat meal (although the cheddar was low-fat and the milk fat-free, I'll have you know), we had a few white peaches for dessert*. Fabulous.

This week's meals have been rather lipid- and carbohydrate-heavy; previously, dishes had been much more about the vegetables. Next week's menu should be better.

*I admire Andy's capacity to take in food with no obvious repercussions on his constitution or lanky frame. Exhibit A: spending part of last night working on the computer with one hand while chawing down on half an enormous loaf of challah held in the other. Exhibit B: having some Edy's Slow-churned Fudge Ripple ice cream as I was typing that sentence about white peaches and lipid content. It's truly wondrous.

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